Live Blogging Thursday: Obama in Durham, NC

Barack Obama

I've just arrived on the NCCU campus in Durham where Barack Obama will host a "countdown to change" rally.

The Obama campaign has given me press credentials, the wireless signal isn't great but it's working, so I'm all set to go. I plan on starting at 4.30 pm, Obama is Scheduled to speak at 5 pm.

The event is in the O'Kelly Riddick Stadium in the middle of the NCCU campus because of the overwhelming demand for tickets. Doors opened at 3 pm and I'm guessing there's about 1500 people here right now.

Frontpaged by Anglico. Thanks LibNC!

Bob Orr on Corporate Incentives

In my secret life, I occasionally correspond with one of the few sane Republicans in North Carolina, Bob Orr. Over the past few months, we've developed what I consider a civil relationship, which is awfully kind of him after all the grief I've given him this year because of his symbiotic relationship with Art Pope. Mr. Orr even visits BlueNC from time to time, as evidence by this posting on his own well-written blog.

In fact, There's a pretty interesting discussion at the BlueNC blog about the controversy surrounding the question of transferring revenue from the Highway Trust Fund to the General Fund for non highway related appropriations. Now I don't usually refer readers to BlueNC unless you're looking for a frequently irrational ideological rant against all things even remotely related to Republicans. (Parental Discretion is advised since some of the content is not appropriate for sensitive youngsters!) But I will admit to having struck up a reasonably civil communication line with the blog's chief blogger Anglico a/k/a James Protzman and the liberal perspective is often interesting to read.

Astroturf Update

At the rate of spending revealed so far it appears that the NC Association of Realtors (NCAR) and the NC Home Builders Association have committed to spend at least $400,000 each in fake grassroots efforts to defeat the transfer tax in the 16 counties holding a referendum on the issue. Contributions from affiliated realtor groups could bring the total projected state budget close to $1,000,000 for local astroturf committees alone. This in addition to state level lobbying expenditures by NCAR of $938,787

Here's an update from Johnston ($74,386) and Harnett ($45,425) counties via Stop The NC Home Ticks:
 
 

Open thread

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I want to get fired for being an incompetent CEO. Don't you? This is un-freakin-believable. If Merrill Lynch thought its business was in the toilet before today, wait until irate investors start moving their money in droves to the company's competitors.

How many underlings will lose their jobs and their homes while Mr. Big Cheese walks away with a cool $161 million? Gotta love those free markets.


Harry Taylor




Amidst all the hubbub over the past couple of weeks, one VERY important piece of news got buried here at BlueNC. And I am pleased to dig it up for your reading enjoyment.

Harry Taylor is running against Sue Myrick in the 9th Congressional district. Here's the message from Harry via email:

To My Friends:

Eighteen months ago I stood in an auditorium in Charlotte, NC, and had the opportunity to speak candidly and directly to President Bush. I could never have dreamed of the reaction it created.

Almost immediately the website thankyouharrytaylor.org was estabished where you joined thousands of people across the United States, and indeed the world, to thank me for standing up and being honest with our President. I was deeply moved that you took the time to be a part of this, but more importantly, to know that you stood with me that day.

I am not a politician, nor have I ever sought to become one. But now, I am so seriously concerned about what is happening to our beloved America, I have decided to run for the U.S. Congress.

NALF Fentress operations to increase

The Navy cannot, I repeat cannot perform 2 air wings worth of training in a two week period. Because of this we must build a second OLF to augment Fentress so air wing training can be accomplished in this time frame. OOOh wait, my bad, they can accomplish this training in a 5 day period .... I return you to your normal BlueNC reading. Sorry to have scared you so.

But we still want our second OLF.

Hagan's in

From her website

KAY HAGAN ANNOUNCES BID FOR UNITED STATES SENATE

"I want this campaign to be about giving North Carolina a voice."

Citing the need to change the country and demand accountability in Washington, North Carolina State Senator Kay Hagan today announced her candidacy for the United States Senate. Hagan, who is currently serving her fifth term in the North Carolina Senate, officially launched her bid against Elizabeth Dole through a video on her new campaign website.

"To make a difference in North Carolina, we need change in Washington," Hagan said. "We need a Senator to make our voice heard. We need a Senator who will stand up, lead and make a difference. That's what I've done, and it's what I'm going to keep doing in Washington."

Hagan said the issues that are most important to voters are what will set her apart.

"We need accountability to end the war in Iraq so we can re-invest those resources here at home. How can Washington reject health care for 123,000 North Carolina children, while continuing to spend hundreds of billions of dollars on this mismanaged war?" Hagan said. "Making those kinds of decisions is hard, but I know it can be done - because those are the kinds of fights I've led in the State Senate."

Throughout her career as a state legislator, Kay has proven to her colleagues and constituents that she is a tireless advocate for the people of North Carolina. Distinguished as one of the "Top Ten Effective Senators" in the state, Kay has been commended for being a diligent and successful voice for her constituency.

WHOM do you support for Lt. Governor, and why?

As I've written recently, I am having trouble getting excited by the Gubernatorial election, so I'm staying as neutral as possible. I expect to do the same thing with the Lt. Governor's race, however, it's possible I'll jump on someone's ship should the right pitch be made. So, this is your chance, not just to pitch to me, but to the entire BlueNC community.

Who do you support? Why? What difference do you see your favorite candidate making in the future of North Carolina as Lt. Governor?

The candidates below the fold.

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